Wanna know the term? Are you sitting down? The search term is: Can two females be attracted to each other.
YES!!!! A thousand times YES! And it’s an extraordinarily, achingly beautiful attraction, too. And often that attraction can lead to loving, fun, considerate, caring and beautiful relationships.
But that beauty might be escaping some of us.
Right now, there’s a young woman feeling trapped and cornered in a relationship that is not good for her. And this relationship is with another woman. This relationship that is not good for her isn’t all that easy to leave: money, fear, hurt, emotional blackmail is taking its toll. How can she move, change, protect herself in any way when she doesn’t feel like she’s worth it? When everything inside her is telling her it’s her fault, that she can’t do anything right, ever.
I can’t talk with her because I don’t know her. But if I could talk with her, if I could call her, or meet her after the job she thinks she’s no good at, here’s what I’d do.
I’d take her to one of my favourite cafes, get her a big mug of something warm. Then we’d sit in the big chairs, listen to the music in the background, look at the art on the walls, breathe in the smell of coffee and chocolate and winter and sip from our big mugs of something until I see some of the tension leave her shoulders. Then we’d talk. Or she’d talk and I’d listen. Or I’d ask a question or two. I’d ask her if she had a friend in the same situation, what would she do? What does she think her friend would need to have in place to take action? I’d ask her to imagine waking up five years from now: how would her life be different then?
I’d wonder out loud with her what she could do now to help her frightened and vulnerable self feel supported, to move that big, dark block of anger and sadness she’s holding against herself and her partner that’s making her feel hopeless and helpless.
We’d talk about how women are not perfect, even if they are amazing. We’d talk about how some women are not nice to other women when they are together in a relationship and we’d wonder why that is.
I’d ask her what she wants. I’d listen to her magical thinking and wishes. I’d listen to how hard she is on herself about how she got into a situation that she doesn’t know how to get out of and then ever-so-gently, ask her to imagine what it would take for her to protect herself and leave. I’d remind her that leaving doesn’t mean her girlfriend is a bad person. Leaving means she is taking back her life and ending a relationship with someone who is just not the right sort of person for her.
If it seemed appropriate, I’d share with her how it was with me at one point shortly after I came out, how — after the straight woman that I loved and who loved me decided she couldn’t be gay — I stumbled into a relationship with someone who was not good for me; and that I did not know how to get out of it because each time I tried to leave the woman everyone thought was wonderful she threatened suicide which stopped me in my tracks and so I stayed and each day I stayed I died a little inside and it got to the point where I did not know if I could face another day and at the lowest possible point I got out of it. It was not pretty, but I got out. And here I am.
I would share that experience with her. We’d talk about how doing the right thing is often not the easiest thing to do. And I’d ask her what it would take to want to save her heart, her soul, her psyche from the damage that’s being done by someone who’s supposed to love her, and I’d ask it with tears in my eyes because she will, I know, struggle to feel that she’s worth it and to find an answer that is honest.
And when she can’t say it, when we’ve sat in silence for a while, I’d take her hand and say it to the little girl inside her who needs to hear it most of all because the young woman that she is today can’t take it in: I’d say it out loud in the cafe: I’d lean into her, look into her eyes and say, “You are worth it: You will always be worth it. You are worth taking yourself out of where you are and starting a fresh new day, a fresh new life.” I’d tell her that life is far too short and far too precious to spend it with someone who does not respect her, who does not love her well, whose words are used as weapons.
But I don’t know her. So I can’t take her to the cafe. All I can do is hope the goddess and her acolytes are reading this and checking their Sappho roster for who’s in need of help, and get their winged asses there, Now.